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Crummy Little Podcast
19 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 32: Unsuck DC Metro with, uh, @UnsuckDCMetro
If you’re a kid visiting Washington, D.C. – like I was the first time I rode public transit in Your Nation’s Capital – the Metro is kind of cool. If you’re a D.C.-area commuter, it’s… not so much fun. Folks who undergo this drudgery have a champion in Unsuck DC Metro, an anonymous journalist who has been chronicling the failings of D.C.’s subway since 2009. As the system begins a series of closures to fix critical safety issues, he joins this crummy little podcast to talk about Metro’s future and whether this time anything will actually change. Listen/download it here / Subscribe on iTunes / NEW: Subscribe on Stitcher. Extras: UnsuckDCMetro is on Twitter and Facebook. We talk about it in the podcast, but there’s also an old, defunct Unsuck DC Metro Blog. That it hasn’t updated in a few years is only obvious because of the dates on the posts; much of the content is still quite relevant.
39 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 31: Bridging the BLM Divide with Ali Akbar
What a tough summer it’s been, and not just because of a more-bitter-than-usual Presidential race going on. A string of police involved shootings has exposed the depth of America’s racial divisions. On this crummy little podcast, conservative activist, blogger, and writer Ali Akbar talks about the American right can balance this out. Ali’s background on the political right and appreciation for the legitimate anger in the black community makes him a unique and important voice on this topic. (By the way, I did my best to try not to sound like a clueless white dude talking about these issues, but I am a clueless white dude. Hope that doesn’t come off as too offensive.) Listen/download it here / Subscribe on iTunes / NEW: Subscribe on Stitcher. Extras: Ali is more than worth a follow on Twitter. He writes a bunch of places, too, but you can find a lot of his stuff on Medium.
25 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 30: Remakes and Reboots with David Swindle
It’s the summer of reboots, remakes, and sequels! This summer blockbuster season appears to have left all sense of creativity behind. To tackle this crisis I invited… someone who has been on the podcast already to come back. I just now recognized the irony here. But this crummy little podcast could do a lot worse than David Swindle, Managing Editor of Liberty Island, to talk about such things. David knows a thing or three about what makes a good story – and why it seems like Hollywood has given up trying to put good stories on the big screen. Listen/download it here / Subscribe on iTunes / Subscribe on Stitcher. Extras: When talking about movies’ revenue I used the site boxofficemojo.com. Problems with the numbers? Take it up with them. Connect with Liberty Island online, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
15 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 29: Civil War Tails with Rebecca Brown
Summer vacations are upon us, and that means it’s road trip season! Growing up in Pennsylvania, I’ve been to Gettysburg more times than I can count. But I’m going to have to make a return trip to check out Civil War Tails, a diorama museum that depicts Civil War battlefield scenes with little cats as the soldiers. Rebecca Brown, who runs the museum and builds the dioramas with her twin sister Ruth, was kind enough to join this Crummy Little Podcast. One thing was very clear from our conversation: Rebecca takes the history very seriously, updating the dioramas as new information about troop movements and placements comes to light. We had, unfortunately, stopped recording when I mentioned to her my own family’s history at Gettysburg, in the person of Brigadier General Alexander Schimmelfennig. Rebecca not only knew the story of Schimmelfennig evading capture in a shed (our running family joke holds that it was a chicken coop; Rebecca mentioned that it was probably a pig sty), but she also knew about his brigade’s run-in with Stonewall Jackson at Chancellorsville, Virginia. If Gen. Schimmelfennig ever gets immortalized as a cat, the Crummy Little Podcast may have to go on location. Listen/download it here / Subscribe on iTunes / NEW: Subscribe on Stitcher. Extras: You can find more details about the Civil War Tails diorama museum at their website, civilwartails.com. Check out this Washington Post story featuring the museum. That’s how I learned about them.
23 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 28: Room for Independents with Quin Hillyer
https://s3.amazonaws.com/crummylittlepodcast/feed/CLP_028_Hillyer_Quin_20160607.mp3 The major party candidates are set. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both had to win a bunch of elections to get to this point, and still no one really likes them. Could this be the election cycle where America breaks free of the two-party system? Quin Hillyer is back on this Crummy Little Podcast to talk about the remote possibility of an independent interloper in the Presidential race. One of the leading voices of the #NeverTrump faction of the Republican party, Quin has been involved in many of the efforts to draft such a candidate. Despite the long odds, it’s a little more realistic than you might expect, even at this late date. (As a side note, the most fun part of talking with Quin is that he has an unflinching optimism for American representative democracy. In a year that has seen bitter acrimony in the primaries and slim pickings ahead for the November ballot, that’s really encouraging.) Listen/download it here / Subscribe on iTunes / NEW: Subscribe on Stitcher. Extras: Some background: Bill Kristol’s assertion that America is ready to embrace an independent candidate; GOP Chairman Reince Priebus disagrees, as you’d expect. Since Quin writes all over the place, check out QuinHillyer.com to find his writing. You can and should also follow him on Twitter.
23 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 27: Third Party Presidential Politics with Chris Younce
Man, was I talking fast at the beginning of this episode. But I had a good reason: With everyone talking about the possibility of a third party crashing the Presidential vote this November, it was fun to talk to my old pal and former softball teammate Chris Younce, who knows exactly what kind of logistical lift such an effort would take. (Spoiler alert: It will take a lot.) Listen/download it here or subscribe on iTunes. Extras: Follow Chris Younce on Twitter. It’s more than worth the click of your mouse. Ballotpedia has a really good page on filing deadlines and requirements to get on the ballot. I’m pretty sure Younce and I were both scanning this during the conversation. This week’s big name on the third-party/independent wish list has been Mark Cuban, who sounds sort of interested in running for President but understands how steep the climb is.
19 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 26: Chilling Free Speech on Climate Change with Steve Everley
The Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands is targeting 90 groups because they are skeptical of claims made by environmental groups. Claude Walker’s office wants to know what Exxon Mobil talked about with the likes of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and others. Regardless of your position in the scientific debates, that’s a little scary. Climate science is a nuanced field that forces you to appreciate the intricacies of various factors within the planet’s atmosphere that create long-term patterns. Because of that, rationally, you can appreciate why there are wide ranges of perspectives on climate change. It makes sense that there would be a debate about what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what can be reasonably done to counterract it. Some groups don’t like that, and want to take the climate change debate out of the scientific world and drop it in the political realm. Steve Everley, a senior advisor with Energy in Depth, talks about the free speech implications of investigations into “climate deniers” (and the interests that are driving the conversation) on this Crummy Little Podcast. (In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve done extensive advocacy work for oil and energy companies over the years. We don’t really talk about it, but it seemed worth bringing up.) Listen/download it here or subscribe on iTunes. Extras: Steve and I speak extensively about the #ExxonKnew campaign which alleges that documents show Exxon hid information about climate change in the 1970s. Energy in Depth has a video debunking those claims using the very same documents. Check out Energy in Depth here. It’s sponsored by the Independent Petroluem Association of America, about which they are pretty transparent. Also, follow Steve on Twitter. (I’ve been doing so for about five years, and found him to be a great resource on energy issues.) Past Crummy Little Podcast guest Jon Henke covered the Rockefeller Foundations’ role in bankrolling most of the research and activism on this issue in his ongoing series about foundation money in politics.
31 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 25: Rethinking Ty Cobb with Charles Leerhsen
You’ve heard the stories about Ty Cobb right? He was mean. He sharpened his spikes to gouge opposing players when sliding into bases. He beat up a disabled fan. He was a racist. Well, it turns out that may all be based on shoddy research. And on this Crummy Little Podcast, Cobb biographer Charles Leerhsen shares a compelling counter-case to the image of Ty Cobb most of us grew up with. Listen/download it here or subscribe on iTunes. Extras: Here’s the Amazon link to Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty. At several points we reference a speech Charles gave at Hillsdale College. His remarks were adapted into this article in one of the college’s presentations. Charles Leerhsen has a website you can visit and a Twitter feed you can follow. Both are recommended. This struck me as interesting: During the conversation, Charles brings up a quote from and old Western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” The same quote was running through my head when I read his Hillsdale College speech. In a 2006 HBO special, “Assume the Position,” actor Robert Wuhl uses the quote to show a college class how inaccuracies become part of pop culture. Why is that interesting? In 1994’s Cobb, Wuhl played sportswriter Al Stump – the source of so much of our current conventional wisdom on Cobb.
23 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 24: Shining a Light on Dark Money with Jon Henke
Jon Henke joins this Crummy Little Podcast to chat about his ongoing series at RedState outlining the role foundations (particularly left-leaning ones) play in the policymaking process. Jon notes that for all the ink and air devoted to the supposed problem of money in campaigns, very little attention is paid to the role of foundations and research organizations. That’s too bad, because of the outsized involvement and impact these organizations have. It’s good that someone like Jon is doing the hard research work to connect dots – which are often visible in plain sight, but overlooked. Listen/download it here or subscribe on iTunes. Extras: Here’s Jon’s “Left Machine” series at RedState series (so far): Part 1: The Foundations Behind the Left Part II: Fundations and Elizabeth Warren Part III: Foundations and Government This isn’t over, either. Keep an eye on Jon’s RedState feed and follow him on Twitter for more.
21 minutes | 5 years ago
Episode 23: Open Conventions 101 with Quin Hillyer
There’s a real chance that the Republican Party could start their convention this year without the nomination settled. It would be the first time that happened since 1976, and many in the news media don’t seem to understand the politics of political conventions. Quin Hillyer does, and he shares some of that knowledge on this Crummy Little Podcast. (Well, more accurately, he took me to school on how conventions work.) As you’re watching the coverage of the nominating process, remember that words matter. You’ll hear reporters (and, yes, occasionally people who host crummy little podcasts) misuse terms like “brokered convention” and “seating delegates.” They could probably use someone like Quin serving as their own personal Inigo Montoya. The convention process isn’t all that difficult to understand; cutting through bad information might be a challenge. Listen/download it here or subscribe on iTunes. Extras: A prolific writer, Quin is published all over the place, so QuinHillyer.com is a good starting point if you’re looking for his excellent writing. You can and should also follow him on Twitter. Most notably, Quin is a Contributing Editor at National Review and a Senior Editor at the American Spectator. Very early on, Quin was among the first voices banging a drum about the effects Donald Trump’s business record has had on the “little guy.” He is part of a group of conservative thought leaders who met in Washington last week to strategize about ways the party could avoid a Donald Trump nomination.
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